Five mistakes to avoid when playing Aces

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Every Texas Hold'em player prays for pocket aces before looking at their hole cards. Few life events are as thrilling as seeing pocket aces, yet even a premium hand-like pocket ace is susceptible to critical errors.

Below is a brief overview of common mistakes players commit with aces.

Changing the pattern of pre-flop raises

In both live and online poker, it's common to see players raise their bets per the strength of their hand. Altering your raising pattern will have the opposite effect if your goal is to play for as much money as possible.

When you abruptly choose to open for $20 with aces after opening at $1/$2 for $5 for the whole night, your opponents' alarm bells will instantly go off, at least the receptive ones.

Consequently, their range narrows as they fold the hands with which they would generally proceed in a regular raise and only enter the flop with the top of their range.

Passive play

Once you flop a premium hand like an ace, you usually want to fast-play to increase the pot as quickly as possible. If you get an opportunity to bet, you may raise the amount of the pot to your liking. Checking gives your opponent an advantage.

Players will typically bet less frequently than if they had called your bet. They can either increase the pot size with their wager or not. Making a bet also compels your opponent to disclose details about his hand. 

For instance, if he calls, you will know he has successfully linked with a board piece (unless he is floating).

If you check and he responds, you would have learned nothing. It is a reference to heads-up pots. It is advisable to play aces passively on the flop in multiway pots. Later, you may seek to extract value on the turn and river.

Being aggressive on multiway pots

The higher the number of players involved in the hand, the more complicated it is to play pocket aces. The explanations are simple: you have much less equity versus several opponents and a higher possibility that these players will hit something on the board.

Be cautious, and don't overestimate the strength of your hand if you continue betting post-flop against several opponents who are prepared to invest money in the hand.


When holding pocket aces, the optimal play is nearly always to increase the pot size. That implies you must raise if no one else has done so, 3-bet if another player has raised, and 4-bet if someone has put in a 3-bet.

It indicates that you are required to raise before the flop. If you raise the bet with your pocket aces, it will be considerably more difficult for your opponents to call with an inferior hand. On average, it will result in a bigger pot when you win with pocket aces.

Sometimes, they'll do it anyhow, but this is not always a terrible thing since they're unlikely to hit most of the time.

Playing tricky pre-flop

Quit trying to fool people and play solid poker. Rather than limping in to 'conceal' your hand, raise it.

The ideal strategy is to be aggressive, even if that means open-raising or 3-betting. In a heads-up pot, pocket aces is a premium hand, but if multiple players are heading to the flop, it is much more probable that you will lose to a flush, straight, or small set.

When faced with a raise, three-bet to approximately 2.5x in position or 3x-4.5x when out of position. If there are several callers, increase your bet to 3x the first raise, and put all extra chips in the middle.


When you have the best possible poker hand, you feel invincible. While pocket aces unquestionably offer you an advantage, without adequate preparation, not only do they lose value, but they also leave you susceptible to being stacked.